tv Face the Nation CBS August 26, 2012 8:30am-9:30am PDT
>> schieffer: today from "face the nation,"" from tampa, florida, here come the republicans, and here comes the storm, but who will get here first? >> we'll soon be having a convention in tampa, florida. i'm told the weather may be a little iffy there. >> schieffer: he got that right. republicans have already canceled monday's session, but how much rain will fall on mitt romney's parade? we'll get the latest on the storm, and we'll get the latest on the convention run-up from florida senator marco rubio, a rising star in the republican party. he'll lay out the choices this election presents and defend mitt romney's medicare plan. >> for barack obama and many in the democratic party, this is not about saving medicare. this is about how they can use medicare as a political weapon in an election. >> schieffer: we'll also talk to key republicans, party chair reince priebus, party platform
chair marsha blackburn, and former mississippi governor, haley barbour. about a campaign that suddenly shifted from jobs and the economy to medicare and abortion. for analysis, we'll be joined by peggy noonan of the "wall street journal." richard lowry of the "national review," fox news, and "time" magazine. dan balz of the "washington post," and our own norah o'donnell and john dickerson. get to the high ground, and we'll talk some politics because this is "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs >> schieffer: and good morning again. we are here on the floor of the republican convention in tampa, but just to see what may be headed our way, we want to start by going to dave bernard of our miami station wfor, for the very
latest on this storm track. david, what do you know? >> good morning, bob. tropical storm isaac is moving across south florida this morning. the worst the storm has to offer, moving through miami and also the florida keys as we speak. the latest position on the storm, about 135 miles east-southeast of key west and winds of 65 miles per hour. look at the future track. this is projected to become a hurricane later tonight just west of the tampa area late tonight and during the day tomorrow. the worst weather in tampa will be late tonight and on monday. but there's growing concern this morning, bob, that a very strong hurricane is heading for the northern gulf coast, and anywhere from new orleans east, the florida panhandle needs to be on watch. in fact this morning, hurricane watches have now been posted for the northern gulf coast. they don't include new orleans right now, but we can't say that new orleans is off the hook. we're going to watch it very closely over the next 24-48 hours. >> schieffer: okay, well,
thank you very much, dave. and that's the news outside. getting back to the business inside, it has been a while since we've gone into an election when the choices the two parties have presented have been so different. this week, we'll be concentrating on the republican side. next week, we'll turn to the democrats. to start us off with where republicans see this campaign right now, we sat down with florida senator marco rubio, who will introduce mitt romney to this convention on thursday night. senator, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> for joiningul. let's just start with the news. the president has given an interview to the associated press in which he describes mitt romney in the most scathing words yet. he says romney has locked himself into extreme positions. he says he lacks serious ideas. he says he refuses to own up to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president and deals in factually dishonest arguments.
>> i think it's important to set the facts straight first. obviously, this president was elected four years ago with the program he knew how to make things better. things have not gotten better for millions of americans. barack obama can't rum by saying, "vote for me because things have gotten better. vote for me because my ideas work." i think you will see more and more rhetoric on this behalf because he doesn't have anything else on run on. >> schieffer: among the issues the president says mitt romney has taken extreme positions on are the kroos the board tax cuts. he singles out opposition to tax credits for producers of wind energy. he said he's making it impossible for people to get into the middle class. >> well, what grows the middle class-- and that's what i think mitt romney understands and barack obama does not-- is the creation of new businesses, and the starting of new businesses. that doesn't happen because of tax increases or some government program. that starts because somebody has the confidence and the money to invest in the american economy. so the job of government is to make it easier for people to do that. right now people lack the confidence, and in many cases
lack the money. and the bottom line there is no tax increase that helps grow the economy. certainly we have to generate revenue. >> schieffer: senator, thank you very much for joining us. let's start with the news, the president gave an interview to the associated press where he described mitt romney in the most scathing words yet. he. things have not gotten better for millions of americans. barack obama can't run by saying, "vote for me because things have gotten better. vote for me because my ideas have worked."
i think you're going to see more and more of this type of rhetoric on his behalf because he doesn't have anything else to run on. >> schieffer: among the issues the president says mitt romney has taken extreme positions on are these across-the-board tax cuts mean singles out opposition to tax kretz for producers of wind energy. he said he's making it impossible for people to get into the middle class. >> well, what grows the middle class-- and that's what i think mitt romney understands and barack obama does not-- is the creation of new businesses and the starting of new businesses. that doesn't happen because of tax increase or some government program. that starts because somebody has the confidence and the money to invest in the american economy. the job of government is to make it easier for people to do that. right now people lack confidence, and in many cases lack the money. and the bottom line is that there is no tax increase that helps grow the economy. certainly we have to generate revenue for government, and that's why you want the economy to grow. but tax increase don't help people start a business. it doesn't give people the confidence to go out and expand an existing business and create new jobs.
that's how the middle class grows, not through some government program. >> schieffer: the president also in this interview hit mr. romney on abortion. he predicted if a president romney is elected, he would not stand in the way if congress gave him a bill to strip away women's control over their reproductive health. he's basing this on the party platform, which states opposition to abortion, but does not take into account any kind of exception. >> i think what's important to understand, yes, mitt romney is prolife, and the republican party-- although it has diversity on this issue-- is the home of the prolife movement in american politics. there is an increasing amount of evidence from public polling that the highest number of americans ever identify themselves as pro life. and for those of us who are pro life like myself. this is not about an issue of denying rights. it's about protecting the human being to live, irrespective of what stage of development they may be. i think that's what mitt romney is it the republican party stand for. and i understand that america is
divided on that issue. i think people of good faith and good will could have differences of opinion, but those of us who are pro life believe strongly in the sanctity of life and the life should be protected by our laws. it's not about denying anyone rights. it's about protecting the rights of human beings that have not yet been born. >> schieffer: do you think that's a good issue to be running a campaign on? >> well, look, i don't think that's the issue that when people wake if you want morning is the first thing on their minds on a daily basis but i think it's always an important issue. life is a fundamental issue. it will always matter. in fact, it's in our declaration of independence, one of the first god-given rights it delineates is the right of life and of course the pursuit of happiness. i think it will always be a relevant issue and always come up because of that. i think we're capable of discussing the issue of life in an intellectually honest way that's true to our principles and at the same time make it clear to the american people we understand what it takes to grow the economy and that we have policies that actually make that happen. >> schieffer: well, that's one of the things i want to talk to
you about, because this race seems to have turned from a referendum on president obama in a bad economy to a referendum on paul ryan and medicare. is that a good strategy. >> i'm think it's a referendum on whether we're willing to confront the big issues that our country faces or are we willing to let our children inherit our problems? here's the bottom line for medicare-- i'll speak for myself on this-- i represent about three million people here in florida that have medicare. one of them is my mom, 83 years old. i can't imagine what her life would be like without medicare. so i, on a personal level, but also as a senator from a state with so many people that are on medicare, i want medicare to be saved and i want to do in a way that doesn't change medicare at all for people currently on it, like my mom, but also ensure it doesn't bankrupt itself so it exists when i retire. paul ryan is the only one in together, together with senator widen, because they worked
together on this, that have come up with a serious plan to address it. mitt romney has a plan to address it. where's the president's plan? where's the democrats' plan. i think it is good for america to talk about how to save medicare. anyone in favor leaving medicare the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it. >> schieffer: just from the standpoint of politics, i mean, i've got to tell you, the obama campaign seems delighted with this turn in the campaign. the president out this weekend saying, you know, i'm the one that's going to take care of medicare," criticizing romney and all of that. they seem to like it, that this is now a campaign about medicare. >> that tells me two things. the first it tells me they're not serious about solving the problem. it proves what i've been saying all along, and that is for barack obama and many in the democratic party, this is not about saving medicare. this is about how they can use medicare as a political woman in an election. and i think that's sad. >> schieffer: i mean, it's about as close as it can get here in florida right now, this
race. is mitt romney going to win florida? >> he is. he's going to win florida and the reason he's going to win florida above everything else is because florida is a state with a lot of people, irrespective how they feel about barack obama now-- they were really excited about him in 2008-- i personal know people who never sphrortd a democrat who voted for him in 2008 because they loved what his cansacy said about america and hoped he would be a new figure in america and help our country move forward on the things we all agree on. that barack obama is long gone. as i said repeatedly, hope and change has been replaced by divide and conquer. even the interview he gave with mitt romney today. i don't agree with barack obama on a lot of things, but the one thing i knew back in 2008 when he was elected, he had a very unique, perhaps the most unique opportunity ever of any modern american president to bring our nation together on high-minded things. he's decided to go in a very different direction, and i think that's going to disappoint a lot of people he were in florida. it already has grief do you
think the tone has changed? >> you look at some of these ads and you see of the president's allies basically accusing mitt romney of being personally responsible for the death of some woman because she lost-- a poor lady who lost her health insurance. that's just outrageous. they've accused him of being a felon, basically. they ran another ad that compared him to a vampire. certainly, i think, yes, i don't remember seeing any of thosey ads in 2008 from the obama campaign. we understand why. he can't run horizon record. the fundamental question every president has to answer are people better off today than they were four years ago and he can't look at the american people with a straight face and say you are better off today than you were four years ago. he doesn't want it to be about that. that's why he's talking this way. >> schieffer: friday, mitt romney made what he called a joke in his home state of michigan. here's what he said. >> i love being home in this place where anne and i were raised, where both of us were born. no one has ever asked to see my
birth certificate, they know this is the place we were born and raised ( cheers and applause ). >> schieffer: the obama campaign immediately seized on this saying he is trying to associate himself with the most strident voices in the republican party, the birthers, donald trump and all of that. what is your take on that? >> my take on it is there is no debate in my mind where the president was born. the president himself has joked about it, and now, you know, obviously, we live in a political environment where we should be careful about everything we say. i can tell you i've heard mitt romney repeatedly address this issue and debunk it as a nonissue. our quarrel with the president is not about his birth certificate. our quarrel is about an $800 stimulus that failed, about a debt that continues to grow-- >> schieffer: here we are on the eve of the republican convention, and there are distraction here. you can't do anything about the weather. we all know that. but, you know, you had this group of republican congressmen that we now know about going swimming in the sea of galilee,
some without their swimsuits and then this fella comes along in the senate race in missouri, aikin, questioning whether people who are raped, if they have the ability to not get pregnant. everybody i know of stature in the republican party has called on this guy to get out of the race, including mitt romney. but he's still there. should mitt romney take stronger steps to-- to tell this tell to go find something else to do? >> i think he has and others have as well, including paul ripe has called him. here's the thing, though, the decision is his to make. ultimately, all we can do is inform someone in the position that he's in right now of what it means for our chances to win a seat that we should win, and what that means for the country. if republicans get a majority in the senate, this country will be that much closer to getting things turned around. that's where the stakes are. when you make comment like that, in addition to being offensive to people like myself and many others, they also hurt your chances of winning. so i think he's been informed of
that. ultimately he has to make the decision he feels is right. but i think everyone has informed him of what the political consequence of of it. he won the primary. he's going to have to make that decision. there's no way to force him out of it. >> schieffer: do you think if he stays in he could actually hurt the national ticket and hurt other republicans by just drawing attention to this. >> the comment-- apart from the bigger issue of the politics nationally, ultimate the race will be decided on what mitt eve whether in his church or in his community he has made it better using his talents and his time. i think mitt romney is a role model for people like me, and i think that mitt romney as a person especially and the kind of person we would all be proud for our kids to grow up and be like. >> schieffer: how does this work? i know at some conventions in the past the candidates' staff has written a speech. will you tell them what's in the speech? will they suggest things to you? how does that work? >> actually, they have not asked me to say anything in particular
other than understanding i'm going before governor romney. usually i don't even write speeches. i have general thoughts but this one of course is a big one so i will. i write these myself for the most part with some help in terms of getting it framed right but i usually want my own words to come through. i look forward to doing that. my only wish is that my dad and my grandfather were still around to see it. my mom is because i think in many ways that speech affirms what's made us great as a nation is not that we have more rich people than anybody else but that it's a country where dreams that are impossible everywhere else are possible here. >> schieffer: let me... since you brought up your parents. of course, they were immigrants. president obama issued a directive that we would no longer deport the children of illegal aliens who were brought into this country as children. governor romney will not say whether he intends to repeal that, whether he intends to let it stay in place or what he intends to do about it if easy lected. >> well, i can't speak for
governor romney. in my opinion, here's my problem with it. first of all let's identify what the goal is. the goal is to help accommodate these young people who find themselves here without documents through no fault of their own, have grown up their entire lives and have so much to contribute to our future. to help accommodate them but to do so in a way that doesn't encourage or reward illegal immigration in the future. that's a difficult balancing act. we were working on something like that. unfortunately the president rather than helping us work on it actually instructed some dream act advocates to not work with us. this is documented, i believe, in the "washington post" that he met with the activists and said do not or his white house did, do not work them on this solution. instead they've come up with a stop gap solution. we will never solve our broken legal immigration system and we will never be able to compassionately deal with the people in this country who are here on undocumented status as long as this issue is a political volleyball tossed between two parties would use it against each other to raise money to gain votes. >> schieffer: don't you think
that the governor owes it to the american people to tell them what he's going to do about this before elected. >> what the governor has said, he starts by telling them what he's not goinged too. not 12 million people amnesty. the dream act as it's currently structured i do not support neither does the governor or many americans. he does support a legal immigration system that's worked. he's detailed what he would do to help ensure that we keep our best and brightest, how we help keep families together here in united states. a million people a year immigrate here legally. we should celebrate that. the fact that a million people a year permanently immigrate to the united states legally. no other country comes close. >> schieffer: the hard line on immigration that people heard republicans take during the primary season. what would you say to a hispanic about why they ought to vote for republican? >> the dominant theme in the hispanic community is the desire to leave their kids better off than themselves.
this is not a theory to me. i lived it. i saw my parents work very hard many years so that everything that was possible for them was possible for me. there's only one economic system in the world where that is consistently been able to happen. that's the american free enterprise system. which the president is undermining and which mitt romney understands and will support. that's the fundamental argument. now the immigration issue is important. for hispanic family and an hispanic voter in this country immigration is not a statistical issue. they know someone' in this predicament. it's a human issue for them. we have to be clear that people understand that republicans are the pro legal immigration party. beyond that issue, this idea of economic empowerment and leaving your kids better off than yourselves. that's the number one issue in america. it's really important r important for hispanics. >> schieffer: florida senator marco rubio. joining me now our political dream team, john dickerson and norah o'donnell. john, when we heard the senator talk about mitt romney being a role model for america, were we
seeing a preview of the speech he'll make to convention when he introduces him? >> we were. he said it twice to you. he really wanted to get the message. he has three tasks in his speech on thursday night the night mitt romney... he's got to sell himself and the party but his big job is selling mitt romney. that's the theme for that night. role model. they'll also have people from the mormon church that romney worked with and who came after him reinforcing this idea that they were following along in the role of mitt romney. >> schieffer: norah. he has to show he's a role model so he can better connect with people. the american people have elected men who were not role models in the past. it's got to be an issue of substance as well. you'll look for marco rubio to do that. but i think they know they have to connect with voters more and specifically hispanic voters. i mean, not only is marco rubio a good spokesman, a rising star for the party but he also happens to be hispanic. and in the state of florida that is critically important if mitt
romney is going to win this state. barack obama won 67% of the hispanic vote in the last election. if they get that same amount there's no way mitt romney can win florida. end of story. mitt romney has to do a better job at courting hispanic voters. >> schieffer: thanks. you'll both be back a little later in our broadcast. we'll be back in a minute with our panel of top republicans and then, as i say, john and norah will be back later with some other analysis. we'll see you in a minute.
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joining me haley barbour, former chairman of the republican national commit. reince priebus, the current chair, and representative marsha blackburn who is the chair of the republican platform committee for this convention. mr. priebus, let me start with you. let's talk about the weather first. you canceled tomorrow's activities. is there a chance you may have to cancel the rest of this thing? >> no, we're 100% on, bob. we have to put the safety of our delegates and guests first. you know, some of the background here was that we know these tropical storm or hurricane is far off the coast of tampa, so it's not a terribly hazardous situation, except we couldn't be assured that the buses coming across the bridges out to clearwater and st. pete would be safe with driving wind and rain. the second piece was the secret service took out all the tenting outside of the forum, so what that meant was fewer entrances, and our guests and delegates would be waiting outside in the driving rain. the last thing is, obviously,
you can't be assured what would happen on monday if you had a full arena, and then couldn't get people out of here. so, i mean, it's an obvious choice. safety first. we're going to go on with the convention on tuesday, and we're going to have a great nomination. we're going to tell america why we need it fire barack obama and save america. >> schieffer: we have to cut this off because of technical difficulties. we'll continue this discussion on page two of "face the nation." we'll be right back. change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses
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has never been stronger. >> schieffer: for the next two weeks, we're going to hear some super sales jobs. here in tampa, respects make their case. next week, it will be the democrats' turn. here's the thing-- both sides may face a bigger challenge than they know. after a year of relentless negative advertising and mudslinging by both sides, guess what? voters have decided they don't find much to admire on either side. a "usa today"/gallup poll says for the first time at this point in at least six elections, voters see both parties in an unfavorable light. 41% of voters now call themselves independent. only 31% call themselves democrats, even fewer, 28%, call themselves republicans. that may surprise both sides but maybe not rest of us. because how can it be otherwise. with congress headed toward the least-productive session since
1947-- and, mind you, it did nothing last year-- when we were entertained by tealz of drunk congressmen taking midnight swims in the sea of galilee-- one forgot his suit-- another claimed he was getting a little water to baptize his daughter-- the wonder is that anyone views any party nay favorable light any more. so the party salesmen will have their work cut out for them here these next two weeks. in the meantime, i was wondering what would happen if either candidate just said,un," this may sound crazy, but i'd like to get together with the leaders on other side and see if there's a way we can work something out to get the country moving again." no, that would never work. it's too radical. still, i wonder. because it matters. at hp we don't just believe in the power of technology.
"face the nation." we're here on the floor of the republican national convention in florida. at least we're going to get to talk to you. haley barbour, you've been to a lot of these things. you were a chair of the party at one point. do you somehow feel like republicans just can't seem to get a break these last couple of weeks. we had these congressmen i just talked about, swimming around in the sea of galilee responsible and then this fella aikin comes along with this bizarre twist on abortion and all of that. and then the weather hits. can you get it back? >> well, i'll tell you obviously, obama and the democrats want to change the subject to anything but obama's record. so i'm sure they're out there praying for rain. ( laughter ) they go even further than that.
you take this todd akin guy, harry reid, the democratic senator leaders pac, put more than a million dollars into the republican primary contest to help todd aikin win the republican nomination. now we know why. the fact is, at the end of the day, the american people know this election is going to be a referendum on president obama's record. marco rubio said it-- are you better off than you were four years ago? is america better off than it was four years ago? and barack obama wants the conversation to be about anything else. >> schieffer: congresswoman-- or you like to be congressman, don't you. >> congress-mash awhatever. i'm just focused on getting the job done. >> schieffer: what about this guy akin. mitt romney comes out-- it seems like there was a time in politics when the leaders could get together and tell somebody to take a hike pup can't really do that. >> i have to tell you, in our party, when somebody commits a
biden-ism, like aikin, his remarks are indefensible, they're disgusting, you can say all sorts of things, but the thing is we do speak out about it. here's the thing, the american people are talking about jobs, and the economy and doing something with this national debt. the debt clock is running. we're almost to $16 trillion, and i think more than ever before, the american people are saying tell me how you're going to get us out of this. it's the number one issue with women. jobs, the economy. number two is getting obamacare off the books. women are the drivers when it comes to health care. all these distraction, they look at as distractions, and they're saying, "how do we get this country back to work? tell me what your plan is." >> schieffer: down there in that senate race down there, he was running ahead, aikin, was, by the democrat about three our forepoints. i think it's now flipped, and i think the democrat claire mccaskill, is up by about
seven. mr. pbs, are yo priebus, are yoo let that stand. >> we have been clear how we feel about aikin's comments. >> but he's still there. >> i think i've labeled them biologically stupid. it's about him stepping sigh and letting someone else to take over. we have a few weeks for that to happen. if it's really about liberty and freedom and about changing the course of this country off the barack obama pathway that we're on, then todd aikin has to put the cause above himself and realize that we can have a better chance in that seat. and, you know, we're moving on. we're worried about electing mitt romney president. we're worried about holding the president accountable, telling the mitt romney story here next week, and that's what we're focused in on, bob. >> schieffer: miss blackburn, it says what you all said in the beginning, this is going to be all about the economy. i'm wondering how do you get it back to that, governor barbour? what has to happen at this convention? >> i was going to say, bob, the
first thing is, if your first four questions are about it, it's kind of hard getting the subject back on the economy when you want to talk about todd aikin. the fact of the matter-- >> schieffer: i want to talk about the news. >> the fact of the matter is, in america marco rubio talks about the biggest source of new jobs are new businesses, new small businesses. last year the lowest number of new small businesses started in decades. in the obama-- quote-- recovery, the average american family according to the census bureau, lost $2500 a year in real per-family income, $2500 loss in the so-called recovery. no matter what we talk about, that's what's on the american people's minds. they get it. >> let's add to that. you know, most of those small businesses that haley is referencing are female owned. they're the majority of the new small business starts. that is why women are looking at this and they're saying, look,
my household income is down $4300 a year. $2600 a year is what i'm seeing as the increase in my health insurance. i am trying to get access to capital to grow this small business. the obama economy is work against me. we've got to make some changes. tell me what you're going to do about it. >> and, bob, in your comment here, you talked about how americans were just sort of sick and tired of politics generally. i agree with that. and i think that it's really an indictment on barack obama because he promised he was going to carpet the world. he was going to be a transcendent figure. he didn't get it done. and i think of all the-- >> schieffer: come now. i take your point, but you're not trying to tell me that the reason they're sick of politics is all the democrats' fault and the republicans have nothing-- >> no, i'm not saying that. but hear me out. i think barack obama's not real any more to the american people. they bought-- they bought a message in 2008. and i think of all the things that people are starving for in this country are real, authentic people that make a promise and keep a promise.
the barack obama brand is broken. and that is an indictment on barack obama. now i think there's a lot of work to be done in washington. i think we do need people of their word to go do what they said they were going to do. but at the top of the ticket is a man who sold us a bill of goods, and delivered on very little. and that's going to be his biggest problem. >> schieffer: but isn't this just kind of a-- couldn't you say the same thing? because what happens is, people come, they make these promises, both sides do it, and then nothing happens. i mean, you have a congress that has done nothing. >> well, well, i take-- i'll take issue with that. the house has over 30 jobs bills and about 200 pieces of legislation waiting for harry reid and the democrat senate to take it up. take a little bit of issue with that. >> schieffer: but the democrats have some bills-- >> in your commentary you said you wanted to see a leader who could sit down with the other side and get things done. look what mitt romney did in
massachusetts. that's exactly what he did. republican governor. he went to a democrat legislature, and he said for the good of the state, and the people of this state, let's decide how we can get some things done. so if you're looking for somebody who can actually live that out for you, your guy is mitt romney. >> and that's what a convention is all about, telling the mitt romney story. about a good, decent man that gave away his father's inheritance and everything he did, he did with success. and i think both republican and democratic parents are wishing for their kids' success and the american dream, and not the glass half empty america that barack obama is trying to sell this country. >> schieffer: governor barbour, you've been a governor, you've been a longtime lobbyist, you've been involved in politics for a long, long time. if you were just to sit here today and say what is something that the two sides could get together on-- and i'd like to hear from you, congressman
blackburn-- just give me some things they could do if they could just sit down and do it nirational way. >> bob, the answer is probably a very long list. in divided government, like under reagan, like under bill clinton, when you had a majority of the house-- democrats under reagan-- they did the reagan economic plan. they did social security reform. they did immigration reform. they did the 1986 tax reform bill because you had a president who was willing to lead and work the other side. it's not partisan. bill clinton was the same way. bill clinton had six years of a republican congress. he didn't whine and complain and blame everybody else. he went over to the republican congress and did welfare reform and the first balanced budget in a generation because he was willing to lead. that's what the american people-- you talked about it in your commentary. the american people want to know why don't we have a bill clinton? why don't we have a ronald reagan that will go to the other side and get things done rather than make everything political, everything somebody else's
fault? it can be done because we've seen it done by two presidents. >presidents. >> schieffer: but this congress-- and congressman-- they couldn't even pass a drought relief bill. here we are the worst drought since the dustbowl days of the 30s. congress took off for five weeks without doing anything to help the farmers. >> well, and there, again, the houses that the ability to get its work done. the senate is not getting their job done. and just as senator rubio was talking about dealing with the immigration issue, the instruction from the administration, you know, in the house we've had bipartisan support for the repeal of obamacare. bipartisan support for moving forward with the budget. we have had bipartisan support for getting rid of cap and trade and stopping that. we've had bipartisan support for building the keystone pipeline. and what you've got are individuals that do extend a expand work across the aisle, and make certain that we are doing things for the good of the american people. this president promised -- and
this is one of the reasons, i think, that so many voters, especially female voters, have moved away from him-- he said he was going to take action on a certain course. but guess what? he didn't do that. he didn't bring people together. he divided them. and he continues to try to divide. and that is not what the american people would want. >> schieffer: if you had one message you would like people to remember from this convention when it's over, when they go away friday, what would you like to see? >> the american people deserve a better future than the one barack obama is trying to sell us. >> schieffer: all right. well, i want to thank you all. and, of course, to our viewers out there, we'll be back with our roundtable of correspondents in just a minute. i do want to add, i do want to add and underline that next week, we're going to let the democrats have their side of this story. >> oh, darn. >> schieffer: i know you're disappointed. we'll ba back in a minute. ( laughter )
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if you're going to do something. make it matter. guy? we're back here in tampa, florida, with peggy noonan, a columnist for the "wall street journal." richard lowry, who writes for the "national review and des moines magazine, also a fox news contributor. i always ask-- what do you do in cur spare time? >> i volunteer at the rotary club. >> schieffer: and dan balz of the "washington post," and our own norah o'donnell and-- who is now the cohost of "cbs this morning" and our political director john dickerson. i want to go down the line. i want to start with you, peggy.
what do republicans need to do here? >> uh, in a way they've just settled who their nominee is. they've just settled who their leaders are. now unveil them in a fresh, new,...ful, and comprehensive way to the american people. >> schieffer: rich? >> well, in one sense, it shouldn't be hard. i mean, mitt romney is a guy who succeeded at almost everything he's done except a senate race and primary race for president last time around, so it's easy to make the case he's a highly capable man. he's a profoundly decent man, a family man, a man of faith. what they need to do is connect all the qualities to his program. at its worst the romney campaign seems to believe the resume is enough. i believe the choice of paul rain says they know the agenda is important, too, and i expect to see that the entire week. >> schieffer: dan? >> bob, i think it's very important for governor romney to make the case why he can fix the
economy. he's talked about the fact his resume is of a job creator. the obama campaign has spent the summer sullying that reputation. he has to come back in a way, as peggy said, that he can connect with people. but he that's leave here with people thinks heat the person who can turn this economy around. >> i think, quite simply, mitt romney has to change the dynamics of this race. he's got to use this convention and the debates to change everything. obama still leads nationally in the polls. obama still leads in all of the key swing states. our own cbs news/"new york times" poll romney did have some movement after the pick of paul ryan, but he's got to be able to convince not just his base that he's been working on, but he's got to convince other voters -- swing voteres, independent voters, also women, young voteres, minorities-- outreach more and he that's use this convention to try to connect with people, specifically middle class voters. >> i think that's right, bob. they have to warm up mitt romney. the campaign knows this will be a referendum about the economy and barack obama. but that's not enough. voters need to connect with him
in some way. they don't need to love him, just connect enough. podium is a message. we see a mix of 13 high-tech screens but they're wrap nade warm sort of arts and craft style. to some people that's a perfect miss of old and new. to others it's discordant, high-tech next to the warm. that's what's happened with mitt romney. can they wrap him in this so that it works or will people find it a disconnect. >> schieffer: i'm looking at the podium and it does have the look of sort of a swedish sanaa, the louver doors. >> bob, if the election is about the podium, the venezuela won. >> schieffer: peggy, i must say, we come into florida and this convention, i thought this would be an election about the referendum on barack obama. that's what the republicans told me it was going to be. but we're here, and it's sort of become a referendum on paul ryan and medicare of all things.
>> um, well, that's been going on for the past few weeks. but i think at this convention, you're about to hear a lot of talk about simply turning the economy around, economic growth, economic dynamism, economic expansion going back to the old america of the cube rap exubera. i think that's more what you're going to be hearing about. i think to sum up what we've all been saying, it is a cliche of politics but true-- when you have an incumbent president, somebody running against him. it's a two-party question. one is do you want to keep or get rid of the incumbent? if you decide get rid of, the second question is do we want to hire this guy? this week is about the reasons you want to hire this guy. >> schieffer: how do you get the focus back on what you want? they can't help it about the weather, but this other-- this bizarre congressman down there
in missouri with his bizarre take on abortion, and all of that. i mean, you work for george bush. you wrote speeches for ronald reagan. how coyou get it back talking about what you want to talk about? >> oddly enough i think-- look, for the people coming to tampa right now and for the people who will be watching most avidly the convention for the first few days, they are actually thinking about the election, not-- forgive me-- some nut out-- some nut who said something nutty and everybody got mad at the nut. i think it's moved on a little bit now. it's about what's happening now, but also what's going to happen in november. and i think the one thing that is kind of uniting the republicans and many of the people watching is their sense that they have not found the obama presidency to be satisfying or helpful. they want to change it. this is the chance. it's that simple. >> schieffer: you know, rich-- and the rest of you join in-- if
you look at, you know, every poll says the country's going in the wrong direction. wean all about the economy and all that. i don't need to go through all that. and yet, this race is tick tight. by any standard, mitt romney ought to be way ahead, it seems to me, if you look at all those kind of signs. why isn't he? >> well, i'm not sure about that. one, people like president obama. they still find him basically a winsome figure. and the economy, they do cut him some slack because he legitimately inherited a terrible mess, and we're growing-- not anywhere the way we should-- but we're growing a little bit. so the economy is kind of a 'tweener. it's not enough to sink him all on its own. and i think mitt romney is in pretty good shape. it's basically a tied race. maybe he's a point behind. if you average up all the race-- all the polls after this beating he stand over the last two months. and i think democrats have succeed in banging him up, but
they haven't succeeded in disqualifying him, and he still has big moments ahead of him, that thursday night speech a big one, the three debates and a fund as youing advantage on top of it. he's not in bad shape at all. >> i think there are a couple of answers, bob. one, as rich says, the economy is not so bad that it's going to sink obama instantly. it's not so good that he's guaranteed reelection. that's the first thing. he's in that nether zone. i think the second reality is, this is a very divided country. people pick sides some time ago in this race. there are very few people who are still undecided, and they think they're going to stay undecide fair while. i think this race stays close, perhaps until the first debate or the second debate. then we'll see what really happens. >> i think we're down to substance now, and real policy discussions and people are going to focus. everybody is getting done with summer vacations and it's back to school, and getting our kids back to school and people are going to watch tv and they're going to look for the decision between the two candidates on issues, and there is a burden on mitt romney to talk about
specifically about how he's going to reduce the deficit and provide tax cuts at the same time. there's a burden on barack obama in his own convention to talk about what he's going to do in a second term and whether he's going to be able to work with republicans any better than he did in the last term, which hasn't worked out so well. so there's a burden on both of them. but i do think there's going to be a specific focus on policy-- not just at these conventions as they lay out those but also the debates will be critical in that regard. >> schieffer: where do you think it's going? what should we expect from now until the election? >> the question is whether that debate about policy will be about "what i'm offering" or is it just going to be about how bad what the other guy is offering? as norah said, when people come back and start paying attention it's people still up for grabs-- a lot lot of people have been having an enjoyable summer and much of what they've seen coming out of the campaign has been foolishness, everybody falling all over themselves about various gaffes. what are candidates going to say about whether people want to
sign up for a specific agenda-- they're both make the bet the other guy, putting obstacles up in front of the other guy is the strategy. they say they're getting specific but what they're getting specific about is the faults of their opponents. are they really going to make a bet that they're going to run for something? the reason they need to make the bet is because if they get in office or stay in office they have to do something and they may want the country to know what that's going to be. >> schieffer: we will have to leave it there. we'll be right back with our "face the nation" flashes back. whoever said that "less is more" is more or less mathematically challenged. less isn't more, it's less.
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aren't what they used to be, but they still give us unforgettable moments. and that is our "face the nation" flashback. when you get all these politicians together, you never know what they'll say. like in '88, when ann richards of texas layed this one on the republican nominee-- >> poor george. ( laughter ) he was born with a silver foot in his mouth. ( laughter ) >> schieffer: his son and future president came to dad's defense. >> i find it very refreshing, in
a way. i really do, that he is not so programmed and so mechanical that he's got aides writing every little script line and that there's rigidity about him. >> schieffer: his dad won, and the country came to know george w. >> and i'd like to talk a little-- >> schieffer: the worst speech that year was when arkansas governor bill clinton nominated michael dukakis. he drond on for so long, that the loudest applause came when he signaled he was almost done. >> in closing-- ( cheering ) >> schieffer: people thought it was the end of clinton's career, but dukakis lost, and four years later, clinton became president. we were some speeches because the speakers show up where we'd least expect them. joe lieberman was al gore's democratic running mate in 2000. eight years later. >> what, after all, is a democrat like me doing at a republican convention like
this?" this? ( cheers and applause ). >> schieffer: and sometimes we remember a speech, well, just because we never heard anything like it before. >> you know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull-- lipstick. >> schieffer: no, conventions may not be what they once were. but i guarantee, we'll hear something over the next two weeks we hadn't expected. our "face the nation" the nation flashback. ,,,,,,,,
for us today. we'll be back next week broadcasting from the site of the democratic convention in charlotte, north carolina. we'll see you there. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org if you want less, you can always have less, but i like having a lot more a lot more than having a lot less. and the more more i have, the more i like having more. and that's exactly what i get at embassy suites.
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